Tuesday, 11 September 2018

To Yiu-ming: HK's Fiscal Reserve Soon to Be in Hands of Beijing!

HK's Fiscal Reserve Soon to Be in Hands of Beijing!
Translated by HKCT, written by To Yiu-ming
Original: https://www.rfa.org/cantonese/commentaries/tym/com-09062018095716.html?encoding=traditional 

The astronomical fiscal reserve of the SAR government has done little to solve our social problems. As bad as that may be, it is merely a reflection of the perversion that is our political system. Yet if this humongous sum of taxpayers’ money were to be handed over to the state-owned enterprises, unexplained and unchecked, that would assail our tradition of insulating SAR’s finances from the Mainland government, further ruining Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan recently revealed in a blog that the HKMA is talking to Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) on investing in their overseas projects that yields stable returns as stockholders with part of Hong Kong’s trillion dollar fiscal reserves.

Ay, there’s the rub: Is such investment profitable? SOEs have a monopoly in their domestic market, and hence is fairly sheltered from failure. Investing in their shares when they come are justifiable if the price is right and the purchase well communicated. Yet what is proposed is significantly different: we only know that the investment will be into SOEs’ overseas projects, with no idea of what it entails. We do not even know which SOEs are involved, or the projects in question.

To be frank, profitable projects have no difficulty seeking capital investment. Risky projects would naturally yearn for SAR’s investment, yet should we really let patriotism cloud business acumen?

The next problem lies in the means of investment. The SAR Government is hoping to buy stock and wait for dividends. Unlike the Government’s current investment purchases, such as shares, foreign currency and bonds, which are all highly fungible. But for the Government to hold stock of a specific company is much riskier, and the stockholders’ rights is completely at the mercy of the company’s constitution, organization, and legal systems. In such cases, there is no guarantee of great dividends even if the company were to make great profits. 

The third problem lies in the nature of such investment. SOEs are hefty investors abroad; so of their projects are controversial, to say the least, involving the sales of arms or copyright infringements. Even if these projects were to yield great profits, the SAR government should still keep the moral dimension in mind. Not to mention, with the US-China trade war going on, the SAR Government ought to stay out of it and refrain from all commercial activities the US see as unfair trade practices; it might be even wiser to keep one’s distance from SOEs, so as to protect our status as a customs-free area.

Perhaps to the FS, it is within the HKMA’s own purview to manage its own investment portfolio. HKMA may choose SOEs as it chooses stocks and bonds. These actions are unworthy of a detailed account on the FS’ blog. Yet the three questions I have raised above are of great importance. Mishandling our investment and we suffer losses, or worse, find ourselves caught in the crossfire of the current trade war. With this in mind, how can the SAR’s clandestine practices bring assurance to anyone?

Of course, the bigger question lies in our fiscal reserve trickling into the hands of Mainland SOEs. What’s to follow? handing our reserve to the government or Guangdong or even the national development bank for them to manage like Macau did? With the decision-making process hidden from view, Hongkongers have no way of knowing where our fiscal reserve and the HKMA’s profit is spent. We may even end up with the Central Government taking over Hong Kong’s reserve, only to provide the SAR with an annual return of 4%. 

Now, of course, these worse case scenarios still require the consent of HKMA and the SAR Government, but since when was the last time the SAR Government ever said no to Beijing? 

Thursday, 5 July 2018

港督柏立基就職演說 Governor's speech at Inauguration Ceremony 23 Jan 1958

港督柏立基就職演說
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以下是港督柏立基爵士於1958123日在立法局會議室的就職演說全文(譯文):

  我對我的朋友周埈年爵士今晨對內子及我熱烈歡迎的盛意,表示感謝之忱。

  我倆極希望有回到我們曾感到愉快的地方的一天。我倆離開這一處地方,還不到三年,在我們乘坐飛機到達本港,及由九龍渡海前往維多利亞的時候,看到許多稔熟的建築物,及再看到老朋友,使我們同想到以往愉快的交遊,實在感到興奮。這對我倆乃是一種令人感動的經驗。

  女皇陛下已經賦予我以極大的責任。由於我有着一種隨時保障各位利益的私人强烈責任感,這一項責任更為加重我對於各位的歡迎,至感榮幸。同時我也知道一項事實,那就是我現在步武一位大人物如葛量洪爵士的後塵。葛量洪爵士在本港服務十年半,政績輝煌,最近才告任滿。我在他的任期內,曾經擔任輔政司三年,實感榮幸。我知道他的政策是什麼,及執行政策的責任感。我現在乘這一個最先的機會對各位保證:我在港督任內的宗旨,將努力保持葛量洪爵士的行政的高水準,及倚賴各位的協助和合作,盡力為本港及其人民服務。

  各位將會覺得本人對於面臨的各項問題,已經有相當了解,本人在過去與各位一道處理所有問題的時候,期間很短,後來因為本人對香港的興趣與同情,所有一切發生的事情,以及各項計劃的執行與各方面的進展,都能經常獲得消息。所謂各方面的進展,包括衛生、教育、住屋、公用事業及工商業等等。同時,本人對於某數項特別重要的問題,例如難民徙置問題的結果,亦甚了解。本人認為今後任務,甚為繁重,一般人民,如決心及智慧,低於香港人民,必感覺無法處理此項任務。但香港人民的優良品質,使本人獲得信心與鼓勵。本人深信:由於香港人民的智能與勤奮,我們必能保持過去的進展,並保證香港今後繼續繁榮。但是,如果想達到此項目的,我們必須一心一德,效忠香港,因為一個安全的香港,對於我們大家都非常重要。我們不能容許任何住在香港並以香港為家的人士,損壞此項安全或者損壞我們社會的支柱。

  今天上午,本人不想詳細講述各項問題,本人謹能向各位保證:在上帝佑護之下,本人將竭盡所能,為香港服務。同時,本人與內子對各位以及各位老朋友的熱烈歡迎,表示感謝,並表示本人與各位再度聚首的快慰,敬謝各位。


1958123日(星期五)
香港時間____
〔上述譯文由華僑日報於1958年1月24日刊出;應為政府預備譯文〕

港督葛量洪就職演說 Governor's speech at Inauguration Ceremony 25 Jul 1947

港督葛量洪就職演說
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以下是港督葛量洪於1947725日在娛樂戲院(King's Theatre)的就職演說全文(譯文):

摩士君、周埈年君,各位男女聚賓暨闔港民眾:

  余夫婦深感各位在余等今午抵埗時,及現在此院所賜予之熱誠歡迎,誠如歡迎詞中所述,余等並非首次來港,香港實乃余等之第二家鄉,余等在此結婚,在此渡過逾半之婚姻生活,在此消磨過愈半出仕後之歲月。故港中故舊甚多,今午在碼頭得重見不少舊友,快慰何似,余絕不懷疑在座不少余目為友人者,而余且希望其以友人待余。雖然余對香港並非陌生,余深知一九四七年之香港與余在一九三五年離別之香港迥異。現有問題殊多,而更又比以前者更困難。此複雜,匪獨本港為然,在今日之世界,即各地亦無不如是,不過程度有深淺而已。如萬物之最重要而極根本之糧食之缺少,吾人缺少米、麥、糖及肉類物資之缺少——吾人缺少木材,鋼鐵及水坭。再有人力之缺乏——吾人缺少工程師、醫生、教師、技術人員及金錢。

  余所述目前所缺少者影响最大,尤以住屋建設為甚。在過去數月,余曾漫游各國,而在各國住屋均為嚴重問題。在南太平洋、澳洲、新西蘭、印度、加拿大、美國,不錯,甚至英國——及英本土亦以住屋問題為棘手。其次教育亦受影响,教師與學校同感不足。健康交通亦受牽連。設計建造機場之人材何在,建築之材料,及經費何在,人方物力缺少之結果,生活程度因以高漲。世界各地多受政治不安之影响,香港幸免此禍,且正如歡迎詞中有言,香港將設立市政府,向民政之前途邁進,而再有或被忽畧之另一進步即在立法局中以非官守議員佔多數。如是各位可謂余曾過于强調吾人面臨之困難,余指出困難,同時並不在以之作藉口,而可歛手嘆息謂:「工作過于艱巨,無法應付」。反之,吾認為一切困難實為對吾人殫精竭慮以赴之一種挑釁。

  同時余感覺吾人亦須知世界其他地方亦有其困難問題,一如吾人然。不過吾人對于一切困難問題,須認清楚其屬于世界件,但吾人之家庭,須由吾人自己收拾。吾人不宜試行解決其他人之困難,蓋此非吾人能力所能及,吾人須集中於吾人之困難問題,吾人須實行自助,然後可使英國所負之責任,畧可減輕,同時,吾人於自力更生中,更應與吾人之有力朋友與鄰人——中國——竭誠密切合作,共同努力。香港之復興,顯具成績,吾在若干國家中,輒聽得一般曾遊香港目擊實情之人士作讚美之評述。吾相信此反映出吾之前任者楊慕琦爵士及香港全體人民之偉大功績。

  今日吾不欲詳細討論吾人當前之各種工作,吾欲他日詳為研究,但吾敢保証决不拖延,吾亦石欲列舉吾人所須處理之各種困難問題,但有一事,余須提出者,則為香港大學。吾認為此係最重要之事,香港大學應成為世界上之第一流文化機關,摩斯先生、周埈年先生及諸位,曾許吾以合作,吾極樂於接受。微君等之助,吾實束手無策。最後,吾謹以一句話結束吾詞:「吾人一起向前,表現工作與合作所能有之成就,以創造香港之光榮模範。」


1947725日(星期五)
香港時間____
〔上述譯文由華僑日報於1947年7月26日刊出;當時譯名為賈乃咸〕

港督尤德就職演說 Governor's speech at Inauguration Ceremony 20 May 1982

港督尤德就職演說
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以下是港督尤德爵士於1982520日在大會堂的就職演說全文(譯文):

夏鼎基爵士、鍾士元爵士:

  兩位對本人的稱譽給各位給予內子和本人的熱烈歡迎,本人衷心銘感。本人剛才宣誓就任總督及三軍總司令,能擔任這職位,我深感榮幸和自豪。本人認識到這職位在良好管治和對香港市民福利方面,負有極大的責任。本人保證定必全力以赴,盡忠職守。

  香港人有許多可引以自豪的成就。在競爭劇烈的世界中,本港工商界的進取精神和勞工的技能及勤奮,已為本港帶來繁榮和成功。因而提供了資源得以在各方面已獲致驕人的成就:為迅速增長的人口建造房屋,推廣教育,改善醫療和社會的服務,促進康樂和文化活動,和建設優良的運輸設施。由於立法局的擴大和在區議會設立民選議席,居住在本港的市民有更大的途徑去表達自己的意願。香港已由一個平凡的海港發展為一個龐大現代化的城市,足以與世界其他大城市媲美。本人藉此機會要向曾為這改變作出貢獻的所有人士致敬,特別要向前任總督致敬,他的卓越貢獻已獲得廣泛的認識。

  自本人三十年前第一次到達香港以來,香港確有顯著的進步,但等待要做的工作應多。在不斷改變的世界中,沒有任何社會可以或應該停滯不前。本人到達之時,正值很多重要計劃在進行中,市民都期望這些計劃會帶來改善,使香港成為他們可以安居樂業並且感到自豪的城市。本人並將努力不懈,促進這些計劃的實現。支持這些計劃需要保持經濟增長,同時要使參與促成這增長的一切人士都可完全發揮他們的衝勁和進取精神。

  要達到這目的,香港需要對將來有信心。由於有租約存在,現時提出這問題實不足為奇。我相信我們大有理由保持信心,而徵兆都是良好的。英國政府對香港和港人利益的承擔仍然堅決。中國與本港的關係從未有將目前這樣友善,而很多事情都有來這良好的關係。如果有一件事要注意和仍需更加努力的,就是對繼續保持本地區繁榮和安定的極端重要性要有共同的認識,和加以維護的共同願望。因此我認為保持高度信心是有良好理由的。

  世界現正面臨經濟困難時期,過程可能非常艱苦,但本港曾一再表現不論在順境或逆境中都能生存和繁榮。在這努力中,政府在自己的工作中必須和私營部門衷誠合作。

  在所有這些事情中,本人深知多麼需要行政局的意見和立法局的支持。鍾士元爵士應允我將獲得非官守議員的支持,我特此致謝。政府也將依賴市政局、各區議會,和眾多的諮詢委員會所擔任極端重要的任務,他們作出了重大的貢獻使政府有效率,和對本港市民的利益有所反應。我渴望和全體公務員共同工作,我深知他們的超卓質素,我在此向夏鼎基爵士所表示的支持致謝。

  本人忝為總督,得到各位的支持和指導,負有領導政府執行多方面工作的責任。我再次向各位保證:本人定必全力以赴,務求使各項工作成功,並且努力為本港市民謀求福利繁榮,使香港的前途充滿光明。


1982520日(星期五)
香港時間____
〔上述譯文由香港工商日報於1982年5月21日刊出,應為政府新聞處準備〕

港督麥理浩就職演說 Governor's speech at Inauguration Ceremony 19 Nov 1971

港督麥理浩就職演說
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以下是港督麥理浩爵士於19711119日在大會堂的就職演說全文(譯文):

頃蒙布政司羅樂民、羅理基爵士及關祖堯爵士三位分別致辭歡迎,善頌善禱,殊為感謝,本人及內子此次來港,甫履斯境,即蒙各界人士熱誠款待,高誼盛情,感謝至深。本人夫婦同香港闊別多年,今日重臨舊地,欣悅之情,不言而喻。

香港發展一日千里,可謂燦然有成,其間不同種族人士,聚居於此,和睦共處,衷誠合作,尤為難得,凡此種種,本人在各地均聞人津津樂道,此次本人幸而委為香港總督,亦覺與有榮施。

至於確保地方安寧,以及謀求居民利樂,現已交由本人肩負其責。本人深知是項責任異常重大,前任總督戴麟趾爵士乃吾摯友,其在任內領導有方,政績斐然。茲值接任之際,謹對其歷年維護香港利益之決心,與乎不屈不撓之精神,深表敬意。

以前本人雖然迭有造訪香港,惟自一九六二年以來,未嘗在港居住。今者舊地重臨,早料香港面貌與前不同。事實上,統計專家亦曾證明香港有極大之轉變,舉例而言,經濟活動之進展,已達當年之三倍;電力之消耗量亦達三倍;而銀行存款數額則更達四倍之多。本人今日渡海途中,目睹工廠與大廈數目數倍於疇昔。香港僅為區區一殖民地,港人以其勇敢才智,克服時艱而為各地人士所慕响。今者香港已躋身於世界大都市之列,為世界重要之工商業中心,亦為重要港口,旅遊中心及交通樞紐。其發展之速,無與倫比。類此美譽,不可勝數。現本人之首要工作,乃務求目前之發展繁榮,得以不斷增進,蓋吾人必須先求經濟繁榮,然後始可以言將來之一切期望。

數星期來,跡象顯示世界有等地區,尤其是港之主要海外銷場,再行採取措施以保當地工業;是以對香港及其他許多地區之繁榮,亦有所威脅。本人但願此種令人憂慮之現象,祗屬暫時性質;並說世界各國隨即恢復為自由之貿易政策,蓋二十五年來,世界經濟發展之突飛猛進,實賴貿易自由;故為香港利益計及進而為全球利益計,自由貿易之原則實有維持之必要。

香港經濟,日更向榮,故市民除基本生計外,亦有餘力改善其生活環境,香港在其他方面亦已有長足進展,本人希望能聽取關於各種進步及促成此種進步之政策之意見。尤其是關於如房屋、醫務、社會福利、教育與工業教育問題,以及在未來歲月中,應如何實行此等政策與其他新訂之政策等,以期增進市民之福利。

吾人之目標,乃謀求社會繁榮與進步。本人深知,此項目標之達成,端賴香港居民之信心,而此項信心,則祗在健全政府、安定政局及良好治安下方能獲致。頃聞各界人士對社會上邇來所發生之犯法行為深表關切,本人於此亟欲知道,究竟目前正在討論何種對策以求改善。本人深知問題之解決殊非容易,其實際情形與許多其他大城市者無別,當然,解決辦法尤在有責任感之人士與政府之一體通力合作。

今日本人履新,適逢世局劇轉,尤以太平洋地區益甚。此種形勢,對香港有利,其主要特點在對國際間之現實加以接受。由於此點,該區內彼此之間之關係得以更為和緩而互受其惠。本人深信,香港在此種新形勢下,將可繼續獲得繁榮與進展,而港人之技術與才智,定能不斷尋求新出路,使社會更加獲益,從而使市民生活獲進一步之改善,俾終有一日,幾可令香港四週山光水色之美景、互相輝映。

本人之目標,非祗求目睹之發展進度得以保持,並致力策勵政府與社會全體、百尺竿頭更進一步,俾眾人均覺得香港為一生活更見美好之地方,在未來歲月中,本人定當向此目標邁進。


19711119日(星期五)
香港時間____
〔上述譯文由華僑日報於1971年11月20日譯出〕

Governor's speech at Inauguration Ceremony
******************************************
Following is the speech delivered by the Governor, Sir Murray MacLehose, at the Inaugural Ceremony at City Hall on November 19, 1971:

I am most grateful for the general remarks of Sir Hugh, Sir Albert and Sir Cho-yiu. Your remarks and the reception we have received since we landed have deeply touched my wife and myself. It is indeed wonderful to come home to Hong Kong again after all these years.

I am proud to have been appointed to the governorship of this colony. It has been impressed on me in my travels how well-known and respected Hong Kong is throughout the world for its success, and for the happy example which it presents of multi-racial operations.

I realize the weight of responsibility for its well-being that now devolves on me. I am profoundly conscious of how well my friend and predecessors, Sir David Trench, bore his responsibility; and on taking up this office. I would like to pay tribute to the determination with which he upheld the interests of the Colony.

Though I have visited Hong Kong at fairly regular intervals, I have not lived here since 1962. I have no illusions that Hong Kong to which I now return is the same as that I used to know. The statisticians have explained, for example, that since then economic activity has trebled, consumption of electricity has trebled, and bank deposits have quadrupled.

As I crossed the harbour today, I could see for myself that factories and great buildings have multiplied. It has always been a Colony which has earned admiration for the success, courage and ingenuity with which it has faced and overcome great problems.

Now it has taken its place as one of the great cities in the world, a manufacturing and trading centre of very considerable international significance, a growth area which is without parallel, a port and communications and tourists centre of importance — one could continue the list indefinitely.

My first task will be to do all I can to ensure that this growth and expansion continue. Economic prosperity provides the only foundation on which all our hopes for the future can be built.

In the past few weeks there have been worrying signs that protectionism, especially in our main market, has re-emerged in the world and threatens our prosperity and that of many others. It is my fervent hope that this phase will prove temporary, and that the world will return to comparatively liberal trading conditions. It is such conditions which have fostered the extraordinary rapid growth of economic activity in the world in the last 25 years.

It is in the highest interest of Hong Kong, indeed it is in the highest interest of the world, that they should be maintained.

As Hong Kong has become more prosperous, it has been possible to look beyond the bare necessities of existence and devote more resources to improving conditions of life. Great strides have been made. I look forward to hearing more about these developments and the policies behind them, particularly those concerning housing, medical services, social welfare and education including, of course, technical education, and how they and other policies to be developed can show increased benefits to the people of the Colony in the next few years.

Our object is prosperity with social progress. I am very conscious of the fact that this can only be based on the confidence generated by sound administration, political stability and, above all, law and order. I have heard of concern about recent trends in the observance of law and order. Here again, I look forward to hearing what policies are planned to bring about an improvement.

I fully realize that in Hong Kong this problem is as complex as it is in most other great cities, and that solutions are not easy. Certainly in finding them the active cooperation of all responsible people is vital.

I arrive at a period of rapid change in the world, and, in particular, in the Pacific area. Hong Kong can only benefit from the new situation. Its main characteristic is recognition of the facts of international life and this should encourage calmer and more productive relations in the area.

I am confident that Hong Kong will continue to flourish and grow in this new climate, to find new outlets and new profit for the skill and ingenuity of the people, and to improve the conditions of their life. One day let them more nearly match the beauty of the sea and mountains that surround us.

It will be my purpose not only to maintain our present level of development but also to encourage both Government and the community to further progress so that the people of Hong Kong will find it an even better place to live in.

This, ladies and gentlemen, will be my object in the years ahead.

Ends/Friday, November 19, 1971
Issued at HKT __:__

NNNN

Monday, 11 June 2018

Edward Leung: Before the Sentencing

Before the Sentencing
Translated by HKCT, written by Edward Leung TIn-kei 梁天琦 (on 10 June 2018)
Original: https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=448387942240714&id=172224869857024 

Before I returned to Hong Kong, I once read a news report about the tendency of Hongkongers in recent years to emigrate. The poll showed that more and more Hongkongers are moving abroad. Among youngsters, an overwhelming majority considered emigration. At the same time, some “dignitaries” said that if youngsters are so dissatisfied with the society and feel pessimistic about the future, they can choose to leave. After reading these two articles, I felt perplexed: what environment are we creating for our next generation in this place?

To leave or to stay is, of course, a choice many have to make. If Hongkongers - especially the younger generation - no longer remain in Hong Kong and move elsewhere, then the future of Hong Kong will thus be cast. On the other hand, if we stick to this piece of land, then it is possible to change the future. Hong Kong will no longer be a “floating city”.

Of course, the reality makes us dejected. We all have our difficulties.

Since the hearing, time has rewound to the night of 8 February two years ago. Sometimes it pauses, sometimes it stops. My world reconnects with that night again, then stagnates, and I believe it will likely stay there for some time.

After four months of captivity, life isn't too bitter. I am most grateful to friends who attended hearings and wrote to me. Whenever I recall the scene in the courtroom: defense lawyers in front, familiar or unacquainted faces in the public gallery, every nod, smile and wave - these all bolstered my courage to face everything. Especially your letters. These are my only connections beyond the tall wall. These warm my heart a lot. This compassion reminds me of why I engage myself in politics.

Lives can influence lives. When I was about to give my statement to the court, I tried to trace my footsteps from the very beginning to today. I remember whom I met on the journey. From day one, the impetus pushing me to the field of politics is the pursuit of a democratic and free Hong Kong. During the course of seeking this ideal society, we have witnessed different scenes, had our own experiences and made our judgments. Regardless of how we make our choices, it is unavoidable that we encounter bumps if we want Hong Kong to become democratic. Coming to today, I don't expect others to agree with me, but I hope they have basic understanding about how an unrepresentative political system can spark the public’s anger; and how many political upheavals will be driven by failed constitutional reform. If we are staying here, the wellbeing of Hong Kong ought to be closely linked to every one of us. What is more, a democratic entity that can fully reflect public opinion should be our pursuit.

Talking about democracy or constitutional reform at this very moment may sound cliché or like asking for the moon. True, all great ideals sound ludicrous in front of a ridiculous reality. I do not deny the stark fact of the retrogression of the democratic course in Hong Kong. I just think that at the worst times, people's sense of responsibility becomes more important. We truly have a lot of things we ought to do but have not yet done.

When raising an issue in the community, support and opposition will inevitably appear. The divergence will manifest itself in different ways. By the same token, even with the ideal of making a difference in the society, social movement participants will also diverge or split due to different priorities. Before democracy is realized, perhaps we should put democracy in practice, understand all kinds of differences and cherish them. We should treat them as an opportunity to bring together a larger force. Only autocracy forbids dissenting voices.

From the turbulence in recent years, I learnt a lot of lessons that have been written down on paper. I have to thank all the people whom I met, especially my parents who brought me into this world. I think even with my entire life, I cannot repay them enough. But if I can learn today's lesson and keep striving for the future of our next generation, I believe my parents will be glad.


10 June 2018

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Letter from David Ford to Civil Servants of Hong Kong on 16 June 1989

Letter from David Ford to Civil Servants of Hong Kong on 16 June 1989
布政司霍德1989年6月16日致全體公務員的信
Translated by Chinese Language Authority, Civil Service Branch, written by David Ford
霍德撰寫、銓敍科中文公事管理局譯

(In June 2018, a Facebook page Rufixation posted this letter, which was found in a former government department office. With authorization, we have typed the full text in English and Chinese for people to refer upon in the future.)
(2018年6月,Facebook專頁荒凝止息張貼這封在前政府部門辦公室找到的信件。經授權,我們將英文及中譯本打出,以供日後有需要人士參考引錄。)



Dear Colleague,

At this time, we in the civil service share with the community as a whole a profound feeling of shock and grief at the recent bloodshed in Peking. I am sure that you, like most people in Hong Kong, are watching with the concern the way in which the situation in China develops. We must all hope that the moves to modernize and liberalize China will be given fresh impetus in the years ahead.

Despite their anger the people of Hong Kong have reacted to recent events in China with tremendous dignity and restraint. This is particularly so in the case of the civil service and my purpose in writing to you is to thank you all for your dedication and responsibility in these troubled times. You have continued to provide the community with a standard of service of a level of which you can be proud, while at the same time demonstrating solidarity with the rest of the people of Hong Kong. Your loyalty to Hong Kong and all it stands for is highly appreciated.

The tragedy of recent weeks makes the role of the civil service even more important to the future of Hong Kong. There may be difficult times ahead, but we have faced difficult times before. No matter what the problems, Hong Kong has shown an ability to adapt and bounce back unequalled anywhere. I have no doubt that we shall do so again.

It would be pointless to suggest that what has happened has not had a major effect on confidence in the future of Hong Kong. I know that you must be deeply concerned. But this makes it all the more necessary for us, as civil servants, to work towards ensuring a stable, and prosperous Hong Kong both up to and beyond 1997. One thing that has emerged from this present situation is a unity of purpose in Hong Kong. We cannot go back, we can only go forward, plan ahead and build for the future. In going forward our duty and commitment is to Hong Kong and its people.

I realise of course that in difficult times it is the civil service that is in the front line, that it is that civil service who may bear the brunt of the community's concerns, and that it is the civil service to which many people time for leadership, guidance and help. I have set that confidence in the future of Hong Kong has been seriously affected; what has not been affected is the confidence in the civil service; its sense of duty and dedication and its commitment to serve the people of Hong Kong.

Yours sincerely,

David Ford

Chief Secretary

中譯本

香港布政司署
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF SECRETARY
GOVERNMENT SECRETARIAT
HONG KONG

各位同事:

  在這個時刻,政府公務員亦與全港市民一樣,對於近日在北京所發生的流血事件,深深感到震驚和哀傷。相信各位也像本港大部分市民一樣,正密切注意中國國內局勢的發展。我們大家都希望促進中國現代化和開放的發展,在未來數年會有新的動力。

  雖然香港人對中國最近發生的事件,感到憤怒,但卻極能保持自重和克制。公務員的表現,更是如此。各位在這個令人不安的時期,依然緊守崗位,全心全意地工作,實在值得讚揚。我這封信,就是要向各位致謝。各位不但繼續為市民提供一貫的優良服務,同事亦不忘與市民緊密團結在一起。各位一直為香港忠誠服務,我們對此深為感激。

  最近幾個星期所發生的慘劇,使公務員在香港前途方面所擔當的角色更形重要。前路可能是困難重重,但我們以往也經歷過艱苦的時刻。無論是甚麼困難,香港都能夠順應時勢,迅速復原。這方面的表現,確是舉世無雙的。我深信我們可以順利地再次渡過難關。

  倘若說最近發生的事件,並沒有重大影響港人對香港前途的信心,實在是沒有意思的。我知道各位一定對此深表關注。不過,對我們公務員來說,就更需要努力工作,確保香港在一九九七年前後,能夠保持穩定繁榮。現時的情況使香港全體市民有堅定一致的目標。我們不能後退,只能向前邁進,為將來制定計劃,進行建設。在向前邁進時,我們須盡忠職守,竭力為香港和全體市民服務。

  我清楚了解到困難時刻來臨時,站在前線的就是公務員。你們首當其衝,要承擔市民的擔憂;而很多市民亦希望公務員會給他們提供領導、指引和幫助。我剛才說,港人對香港前途的信心受到嚴重影響;但他們對公務員的信心卻未有動搖。他們深信公務員仍會竭盡本分,盡心盡力為香港市民服務。

布政司 霍德
一九八九年六月十六日

Friday, 18 May 2018

Admit It, You’ll Eventually Be Surrounded By A Generation Who Haven’t Experienced Tian’anmen Massacre

Admit It, You’ll Eventually Be Surrounded By A Generation Who Haven’t Experienced Tian’anmen Massacre
Translated by Chen-t'ang 鎮棠, written by Lewis Loud
Original: https://sosreader.com/n/user/@paleistmac-Lewis/article/5afe7b26fd89780001549811 



The student unions of eight universities told the press that they won’t organize any Tian’anmen-related events. Many “yellow ribbons” were angry.

I don’t know what do undergraduates think about this. A few years ago, I started to urge people to boycott the rally held by HK Alliance and to sever ties with patriotism. But that doesn’t mean that I completely know what they are thinking about because I haven’t talked to any SU members. I am already not as young as they are. With loads of criticisms against the youth, old “yellow ribbons” see them as “revolters” as the youth does not follow the old’s “traditions and values”.

What kind of emotions do these old people expect post-1989 youth to have? If such a youth says he will commemorate the Massacre forever, that would be most hypocritical, isn’t it? “If I support democracy and freedom, I should bear in mind the Massacre for 10,000 years” - this is the political correctness passed on by “HKA-HKPTU-DP” (HK Alliance, Professional Teachers’ Union, Democratic Party). My generation doesn’t really give a damn, not to mention the latest generation. Admit it, things will change. You will eventually be surrounded by a generation who haven’t experienced the Massacre.

But if you think that the next generation will completely forget that, then that is showing your arrogance. This generation has experienced their own confrontations and has desires for dignity and liberty. Localists, independence supporters, self-determination supporters have arisen in an environment way more difficult compared to the era when the British ruled. These people have paid a higher cost than the older generation. Being charged, getting bankrupt, in exile, being imprisoned, being ridiculed, etc.

I don’t think that these “yellow ribbons” do care about democracy and freedom of Hong Kong. They care about the Massacre’s façade more than the succession of democratic awareness. They do not accept that the world will be taken over by a generation which has not experienced the Massacre. They do not stress the desire for freedom, which all human beings share, nor respect the differences between the young. They keep reiterating their limited participation - I watched the massacre live on TV, I went to Concert for Democracy in China, I went to protests…

Emotional experience was special, huge but uncopyable. If you haven’t experienced it, you haven’t. But this generation will remember 28 September 2014, Occupy Movement, Mong Kok unrest and names in these episodes. The older generation won’t care how to make this generation (which has a totally different emotional experience) feel what they felt back then. Do the older generation care about the democracy and freedom of Hong Kong? Do they think that they have done a good job in the past three decades? Do they believe that things will not be taken over by the younger generation?

They seem to care more about staying inside their echo chamber for the rest of their life, including murmuring “students are but cat’s paws“. These students can face Hong Kong upright. Democratic Party has fought for a retrogressive political reform and had private backroom deals with the Communists. Leung Yiu-chung, one of the standing members of the HK Alliance, surrendered the chairman seat in LegCo, leading to six lawmakers being disqualified. Every time, there were people missing when key bills in the Chamber are to be voted. Tightening of the Rules of Procedures, XRL, co-location, infrastructure appropriations were all passed. Don’t you care? “Standing one night on the stage in a year makes a person upright, having clear-cut protagonists and antagonists …” Doesn’t that sound TVB dramas?

The older generation cares the most such annual party. They do not care about how many battles were lost in the reality. As long as they “win” in the night in such virtual rally, they are satisfied. They will then point the finger at protesters as spies from the Party and making riots. Those who have decades of remaining life won’t bear these.

For those “yellow ribbons”, they probably can’t imagine why is this unbearable. With those mean comments, you might think nothing happened over the past few years or even decade. They have loose standards for the authority but strict to the weak. They might think that their own contribution is comparable to building temples and beneficial to the public.

In the past two or three years, students have bid China farewell, but still, see the Massacre as a “humanitarian disaster” and had a few forums, trying to localize the commemoration of the Massacre. Yet, people who are not going to Victoria Park are slammed. Those “yellow ribbons“ had loads of antagonistic articles and words against the students, who did not have an equal amount of article exposure and airtime. If this is an election, this is equal to “scolding at your supporters”. Those who scold so loudly have their dreams come true. The students don’t think it is necessary to organize such event. Things should be said have been said.

If we say forcing people to love their country is a tyranny, then HK Alliance forcing the latest generation to have “Massacre emotional experience” is equally “Chinese”. There is metal fatigue, and a long-term emotional blackmail also generates antibody in people’s mind.

The right mentality is simple: those who want to go can go, and those who don’t are not sinners. People can still collaborate on different matters after that night. “Yellow ribbons” can tolerate Alvin Yeung, who was absent for many key meetings in LegCo, and Leung Yiu-chung, who surrendered the chairmanship, yet they just can’t tolerate undergraduates who have different mindsets when it comes to identity and “Massacre emotional experience”.

“Undergraduates ought to cry for the Massacre” - this is just the imagination of one generation. No one will be on the stage forever, not me, not you and not that incident.

Monday, 9 April 2018

[HKUSU Undergrad] Hong Kong Youth’s Declaration of Joining the CCP

Hong Kong Youth’s Declaration of Joining the CCP
Translated by Bernard Wong, written by There’s Still the Party [Undergrad, April 2018]


This article is to fight the case for Hong Kong youth.

I am increasingly concerned that society should do away with the stigmatisation of the term “Useless Youth” (Or Fai Ching in Cantonese). 

Is it really appropriate to generalise the younger generation in this manner?

Are Fai Chings bound to be complaining about the injustice of society, or indulge in the pointless fantasy of Hong Kong Independence? Are young people bound to oppose the government, be anti-China, set to disrupt Hong Kong and provoke hatred? Do you honestly believe there are that more Edward LeungAndy Chan and Ernie Chow? On the contrary, young people in Hong Kong are an obedient bunch, with no lack of patriots. They yearn for all the “benefits" of China, from easily realisable opportunities such as cultural exchange tours between China and Hong Kong and internships up north to long-term goals such as a seat in the establishment. They may have always supported their motherland with banners held high, or had their eureka moment and saw the red light.

Therefore, I say there are many types of young people. In 2014 it might seem like there are lots of zealous youngsters, eager to change the society. Yet when you look at Carrie Lam’s campaign last year and see the familiar young faces among her campaign, you have to "appreciate" these smart timeservers, the future pillars of society.

When Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, the world believed that Hong Kong youth is at the forefront of the battle for freedom and democracy, oblivious to the fact that these youngsters are one of a kind. Believe it or not, give it a decade or so and the course-mate who sat next to you in SOCI1001 will manage to get his spot in the Establishment. Your comrades who charged the metal blockades along your side during the Umbrella Movement have already pledged his renewed allegiance to the Hong Kong communists, transforming himself as a well-off young elite. Chinese colonisation would not turn Hong Kong into Xianggang, it was by the "locals".

Accumulate the Fruits of United Front Efforts, 
Reap when it's ripe

The CCP is good at conducting a "United Front” (tongzhan). There has been no lack of studies on how China throws its weight around in Hong Kong. For example Christine Loh’s “Underground Front: The Chinese Communist Party in Hong Kong” pointed out how the CCP as the ruling party and an underground organisation interfered in Hong Kong all these years, lasting long before the transfer of sovereignty. On the social level, Chinese corporates or organisation branches devoted cash and effort to build community networks, and would even take in “loyal oppositions” to consolidate their power.

Dr Lam Wai-man, Honorary Assistant Professor from the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Hong Kong and Dr Kay Lam Chi-yan published “China's United Front Work in Civil Society: The Case of Hong Kong” in an academic journal in 2013. It illustrated how the CCP does not conduct its united front work in detail. Five measures have been adopted instead (integration, cooptation, collaboration, containment, and denunciation), covering areas including the media, legislature, community organisations and education… etc., successfully realise the coordination of different organisations, allow them to absorb young people to join the ranks of government supporters, whilst weaken the strength of the democratic camp. The endeavour is well structured and organised.

We have been told that there’s a thing called ‘Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong and guarantee for our way of life remaining unchanged for 50 years’. Yet to prepare Hong Kong’s transition into just another city of China, and to ensure Hong Kong becomes connected will be connected) with the Motherland it is in its culture, politics and way of thinking, the effort of United Front becomes quintessential. Most importantly, they are exporting Chinese population to homogenise the peripheral place of Hong Kong, while ensuring the younger generation will not become a challenge to China and disrupt its policy in Hong Kong.

Twenty Years of Endless Inducements

Approaching young people, controlling the curriculum, developing youth organisations and recruiting potential talents to catch the baton became tasks of “greatest importance”. Hong Kong people, in their naïveté, believe that they have stopped the brainwashing project from becoming part of daily life by winning marginally in the battle against ‘National education’, yet they cannot stop the party from luring the younger generation. 

Let us talk about the exchange tours to China and the “Mainland internship programmes” which we are more familiar with.

We say the pro-Beijing parties give out some goodies (such as dumplings) and subsidised banquets from the Party to buy hearts and minds in elections, and then get the elderly to the polling stations by coach buses. Aren’t the younger generation also lured by these goodies of a different kind? Opportunities to exchange and do internships in the Mainland are plentiful. For example, before the beginning of the second semester, the Internet is flooded with promotions of "Mainland internship programmes”, driving many university students wild. Just to declare, I am not looking at these internships through red-coloured lenses. I would just like to use this example to show that there’s nothing to stop the humongous and systematic communist-backed organisations attracting talents with economic incentives. To participate internships in China and appreciate its natural beauties and grandeurs are unavoidably becoming the “collective memory” of the new generation of youngsters.

I wonder if participants know that the hosting organisations are from the pro-Beijing camp or are the underlings of the CCP, and that the participants need to express their “takeaways”, their new insights of the nation and sentiments towards the development of the nation with reflections/ video… or to be drunk, to lick the boots of these communist-backed organisations, why are so many university students so eager to participate? I think there are two reasons: 

First, the practical consideration: why not if it’s so cheap?

The activities hosted by the harmony-inducing organisations are insensibly cheap. Participants can choose different major cities in China, participate in internships lasting one to two months, and get more than half of their deposit back upon completing the internship. All things considered, the cost is practically free. Beyond exchange tours to keep you up to date on “national conditions”, there are tours that are responding to China’s policies such as “the Belt and Road Initiative”, offering low-cost opportunities to visit Central Asia and Eastern Europe. High cost-to-return ratio becomes the greatest incentives. Even if one has to sit through the masturbatory seminars on China and play along at sharing sessions, it is all minor costs to pay. Some students claim to participate only to take advantage of its cheapness and make some friends. University students can discern truth from falsehood and cannot be so easily influenced(manipulated).

Coming to think of it, how do the hosting organisations know if the students are being sincere? Referencing The Stand News’s feature, “Mind Supplements for Youth”, interviewee Crystal is a frequent participant in these exchange tours. She claims(claimed) her participation in these events have absolutely zero influence on her, and that her participation saves another person from being ‘educated’. At the same time, she gets to “deplete the Liaison Office of its resources”. Of course, I believe many participants are rational, but the CCP is not stupid either. The CCP expected the participants to only seek a comfortable escape. The CCP pumps such vast amount of resources; even if it only affects a handful of people, if that can create within them a flicker of changing thoughts towards the nation, such as “China is not that bad” or “Chinese development is so good”, and allow them to catch up to pro-China people’s way of thinking, or to alleviate the anger towards China’s human rights and injustices by appealing to those who are after a good deal, would that be a phasic victory for the CCP from their perspective? This soft-handed approach gnaws subconsciously, yet it can bring more unexpected, deeper and more far-lasting impacts than the heavy-handed approach of 'National Education'.

Second, there’s no reason to be patriotic? Hong Kong has no lack of genuinely patriotic youngsters?
Out of curiosity, I clicked on some sharing sessions video clips from the exchange tours, only to realise that for some good young people, patriotism does not require any reason. Participants demonstrate a zeal for the “Motherland”. It’s hard to understand why some people can offer such flattery to the communists after so many things have happened in Hong Kong, with naked political oppression and the rule of law soon to be subsumed. They might have been through the same education system, witness the same social changes in Hong Kong and are youngsters in their early twenties. The fact of the matter is many young people live in a parallel universe’s Hong Kong. Regardless of how the CCP insensibly interferes Hong Kong’s affairs, and that the absurd continues to happen, not caring who gets disqualified, or that the co-location arrangement is in the tube, nothing is going to affect some youngsters’ loyalty and patriotism towards the ‘motherland’.
Terrance Au Yeung Kwong-wing,
an interviewee of Hong Kong Connection who decides to join DAB.

Practically speaking, there’s nothing one can do for the good youngsters who genuinely love the ‘Motherland’; on the other hand, we don’t need to worry about those who are only going to leech off a good deal being brainwashed. So is there any harm done by these ‘harmony-inducing' activities, and may even be worthy of our consideration?

I have not participated in internships in China or the "harmonious" cultural exchange tours, but many of my friends have. They have been normal so far. Perhaps there is no need for us to completely boycott these activities; on the contrary, we should understand the social, political and economic situations in China through these activities (even though we can expect whitewashing from the process). A person with international vision should not neglect China. If these activities do actually have a brainwashing element to them, participants can share their first-hand experience online, revealing the process and raising everyone’s awareness and alert towards these activities.

The Problem To Address: The Silent Youth Makes Up the Majority

Actually, why are we worrying about these brainwashing tours being effective? At its core, it’s because we lack confidence in the young people of Hong Kong. After all, those who have their own views and stance and are audacious and critical of the politics of our time are the minority, the silent and easily influenced are the majority.

It is difficult to overview the identity recognition of the younger generation of Hong Kong. From like-minded friends on Facebook, labels from the media and the various opinion polls, we pretty much get the conclusion that “Young people generally disapprove of the government.” Taking Hong Kong citizens’ “ethnic identity indices” survey as an example, generally, people understand the drop since 2008 as a response to the various social crisis in China, the influx of Mainlanders in Hong Kong, the scandals of senior government officials, the sluggish development of democratic reforms… etc. What follows is a formulaic transformation of how young people view identity concept; patriotism shifts from the normative sentiment to have to a vulgar one. 

I believe this is the new trend of identity recognition for the young generation, but does that impression align with the facts?

Indeed, more and more millennials are referring to themselves as Hongkongers instead of Chinese, a divide between Hong Kong and China have also been advocated by university students. Yet ironically, the apathetic ones still make up the majority. Referencing official surveys, young people on average do not actively exercise their civil rights. Take the age group between 20-30 years old, the population of which exceed one million. Yet the number of “young voters” is approximately 640 thousand (18-30-year-old voters fall under this category), this shows how the politically apathetic and the self-declared neutral always makes the majority. Even though it is hard to deduce the values and attitudes of these people, we can assume these people probably care about what is closest to their own interest only, yet they would not speak up against injustice or problems that do not directly affect them. They are the easiest bunch to influence and can be said to be the CCP’s target.

When we feel today that the pro-establishment camp has amassed the elderly voters with little trinkets and perks, establishing their strong voter base, would it be the case that the young generation, which we regard as equipped with civil awareness, will become the next generation of pro-establishment camp supporters? I really don’t know. Think about the Umbrella Movement in 2014, how many people changed their profile pic to a yellow ribbon to follow the trend, yet many people continue to live their ordinary lives as if nothing has happened after a year or two. They have claimed the moral ground, and exempted themselves from civic engagement. If most people go with the tide, and that one day to join the CCP becomes the norm and to oppose the government makes you the odd one out, would this law of people going with the tide apply in the opposite situation? The silent and the self-deemed apolitical/ apathetic is the most worrying bunch, because they are a force can be used at any moment. If most youngsters don’t speak of idealism, and only of tangible “benefits”, the force of opposition would have dug its own grave; what a lovely world.

Enkindle a light; they will come when there’s light (?)

Of course, we cannot neglect the new generation who are making their effort in silence, and would even gamble their future for a political ideal. To think of it optimistically, the situation cannot that bad, right? At least there are some who are willing to counter the “China factor”. Take the legal support for social movement activists, or those who are on guard for the student unions, preventing red influences from seeping into the power structure of universities. Yet in the foreseeable future, how can we capture the wandering hearts and minds of the apolitical and fickle-minded young people, and prevent them from being a bargaining chip or chess piece of the Establishment? If there are more young people who bear a sense of duty and aspiration to Hong Kong, I can very well suggest everyone exert their influence at their own posts, and support social movements by all means available. Yet when there are more and more youngsters who are patriotic/ patriotic when needed, what can civil society do? Can we still rely on the power of the media? The state controls education, but civil society and control the dissemination of information. I believe that reinforcing the public’s awareness of localness is the only way to counter the CCP’s United Front efforts. Only when the people here have a determined will to be rooted in this place, and love everything about this place, that they would stop selling out the city’s interest and betray the remaining values this city stands for.

As cliché as this may sound, there is light at the end of darkness. It has only been a couple decades, how can we despair and submit so quickly? We have to believe that with more unorthodoxy, the greater the resistance it will inspire. The CCP wishes to boil the frog slowly in tepid water, homogenising Hong Kong with a soft hand, and make young people lean towards the North, yet at the worst hour, there will be outrage. Yet this prophecy rests on the premise that we have to equip ourselves well. Because of this, we must not give up the fight on communication; we must persevere in using culture and knowledge to counter the multidimensional, seeping influences from the CCP.

I remember there was an interview with Jasper Tsang Yok-sing. He mentioned that one of Hong Kong’s biggest problem is that “since the handover, national consciousness has not been effectively constructed.” Actually, this national consciousness has already taken root in many people’s heart in many ways.  This bunch of people will not be patriotic unconditionally, but would be willing to be patriotic because of perks from the North. Yet, the same sentence can be rephrased as Hong Kong’s biggest problem is “the ineffective construction of local consciousness”. If more people are willing to put Hong Kong’s interests and values first, then we can oppose the anaconda that is China, and not have it be a desperate attempt in vain.

And then,

I am not great enough to light the path forward for future generations. I can only wish to be like Stephen Shiu Yeuk-yuen, the anti-prophet, and that none of the above will come true.

Sometimes I wonder, I despise those who bury their conscience to lick CCP’s boots and sell Hong Kong out, but would I do it myself if the opportunity presents itself? If you cannot beat them, then join them? My fear of the future lies not only with the fear of Hong Kong becoming more and more unfamiliar, but also that I would become fatalistic, or even if I do not go to such extreme as to join the CCP, it is possible that I would become a Kongformist, submitting to reality.

Hopefully, another decade will pass and we will not turn into those whom we once fulminated, despised and even hated. Do not end up as a conspirator to put the nail on Hong Kong’s coffin.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Lam Min-yat: Why Can’t “Disqualification Issue” Mobilise Voters?

Why Can’t “Disqualification Issue” Mobilise Voters?
Translated by Bernard Wong, written by Lam Min-yat 林勉一
Original: https://thestandnews.com/politics/%E9%BB%9E%E8%A7%A3%E5%8F%8Ddq%E5%8B%95%E5%93%A1%E4%B8%8D%E5%88%B0%E9%81%B8%E6%B0%91/ 

During the by-election, we all thought the “Disqualification Issue” is the trump card. As we can now learn from the facts, the “Disqualification Issue” may only be a concern for the self-anointed progressives. For many people, the alleged “Disqualification Issue” is no grave matter.

If we were to ask why the “Disqualification Issue” failed the mobilise the masses, I would allude to the movie NO, a film adapted from the history of Chile's referendum. In the movie, the dictator Pinochet orchestrated a referendum to extend his rule. The opposition needs to call on the electorate to vote NO. They set out the film TV commercials, with scenes of hardcore riot police beating up citizens, ending with a call to vote against.
The opposition presented their work to a young advertiser, who finds it ineffective. The advertiser said that such serious theme has little appeal to the masses. He noted that a message needs to be targeted to the public as a product is targeted to its market.

The public we refer to is essential an apolitical bunch. They need to make ends meet, have a family to take care of, have classes to attend, lives to live… Force-feeding them with political ideals will not be able to affect them; the message itself must be approachable.

Professor Ma Ngok noted that the gravest takeaway from this by-election is that the ordinary citizen is not as receptive to the “Disqualification Issue” as we all expected.

Those who are repulsed by the “Disqualification Issue” pay close attention to political news everyday, like you and I. We can tell the difference between localists, "yit-po-shing" (Civic Passion-Proletariat Political Institute-Hong Kong Resurgence Order), moderate pan-dems, radical pan-dems, left-wingers, right-wingers… etc. There may be one or two hundred thousands of us in society. Yet most of the Hongkongers we meet on a daily basis cannot tell Youngspiration, League of Social Democrats or Demosistō apart.

A lot of youth who regard themselves as woke would curse these “Kongformists” as undeserving of democracy. The “Kongformists” are those who pay little attention to politics, and even those who have been subconsciously persuaded by TVB and pro-Beijing newspapers to believe that politics is chaos.

The aforementioned crowd makes up the majority of society. That is the reality. They are exactly the people whom the advertiser in the movie NO is trying to mobilise. The opposition cannot regard them as “Chilean conformists” and give up trying to sway them, only to bemoan there are too many “Chilean conformists” in Chile for democracy to happen.

For you and me, the “Disqualification Issue” is an egregious assault on the law, due process, reason and common sense. Yet most people cannot even find time to care, or simply don’t want to care. Especially when television and newspapers nowadays are all under the enemy’s command, giving them even less incentive to care.

This year or so, the government stripped many candidates’ rights to run for office unreasonably. It has also stripped six LegCo members of their seats. Why is the daily passerby so nonchalant to such ridiculous and barbaric acts?

From daily observation, I see that regardless of adults or students, they have come to roll the word “DQ” on the tip of their tongue, as if it is nothing out of the ordinary. I think there are a number of reasons why this has occurred:

First, the mainstream media have all been homogenised. Mainstream media, especially TVB, have basically given a cold shoulder to the issues of government stripping candidates’ right to run as well as elected candidates’ right to represent. Even when there is coverage, it is stuck with the formulaic expression of “They have been too radical. The government is acting in accordance with the law. Pro-establishment scholar points out it is within the government’s right to do so.”

On another matter, the expression “disqualification” is a complete disaster. What is happening is candidates’ rights to run and elected candidates’ rights to represent being stripped away, yet you let the mainstream media lead you on and call it “DQ”. The average Joe hears two English letters and does not associate it with anything negative. This blurs the severity of the incident. Disqualification to the ordinary citizen is like a referee stripping a rule-breaker’s right to play, most commonly seen in sports competition. Anti-DQ to the innocent ears sound like we are in the wrong to begin with.

There’s a more serious point: Yau Wai-ching’s “Re-fucking of Chi-Na” have been looped ad nauseam by the mainstream media, so much so that the public has come to equate DQ with “Re-fucking of Chi-Na”. You who are politically attuned will know even using that as an excuse to strip a legislator of her seat is out of line, but the commoner sentences the legislator to death the moment they hear a swear word.

An election is about rallying people to vote. For many people to be rallied, it takes more than an appeal to ideals. There needs to be an appeal to emotion and relations. An appeal to emotions is to make the public feel the need to vote. This needs to go beyond ideals. They must have an emotional motive, such as grief, anger, fear, hope, sympathy… etc. To be stripped of the right to be elected and to represent is a grief-worthy and angering issue in itself, yet the incident is too abstract in reality, coupled with the aforementioned reasons, it failed to rally the people.

So how can the masses be rallied? Whatever I can think of, I am sure my democrat friends can also think of. Here are my two cents:

First of all, it is important to capture the attention of those who do not care about the “Disqualification Issue”. How? Since the television and newspapers are all under the regime’s control, we must sow our seeds humbly on the streets and promote in local communities. This seed-sowing process demands time and patience and requires our constant commitment. As to whether the democrats had spent enough time and patience on that, I’d say there is room for improvement.

This seed-sowing approach is no panacea. There are those who are immune to such medicine. The “Disqualification Issue” failed to capture the imagination. How can such imagination be presented? Take the anti-national education movement for example. If it weren’t for the overwhelmingly leftist “The China Model” textbook, the public would not be aware how chilling the whole thing is. Yet when it comes to the government stripping of legislators of their seats, there wasn’t enough grief, fear and frustration. Better for Hong Kong Island, there were a bunch of commies who were verbally abusing pan-democrat volunteers on the day of the by-election. Kowloon West did not have that to count on.

For the majority of the public, the “Disqualification Issue” is irrelevant to daily life. If campaigners cannot make people empathize with the “Disqualification Issue”, then they should seek issues that are more tangible in daily life. These issues can be the overwhelming surplus in our reserve, resettlement and payments for reconstruction (Want to guess how many voters can understand “Say no to the Commodification of Housing”?), the national anthem legislation, Carrie Lam giving a free pass to the UGL/ $50 million case, SJ Teresa Cheng knowingly breaching the law, uniformed groups being asked to march by CCP stylistic standards… etc. These issues are comprehensible to the commoner, and only by comprehending the issue will he or she finds meaning in voting.

I understand Carrie Lam has quite a remarkable skill in giving the impression that “whatever’s at fault is not my fault”, and many do believe her. At the same time, the resources made available to pro-communist political parties is 10 times that of pan-dems. They have infinite resources to build grassroots networks and count votes. And let’s not forget, TVB was shameless enough to insist on not hosting an election forum, giving a cold shoulder to this entire by-election.

This by-election saw a major loss of votes in the public housing estate areas, meaning grassroots voters. This electoral result is a siren to the pan-democrats. The reality is that the referee, the linesmen and the host are all under the CCP. If democrats do not ponder on how to attract grassroots voters and the politically indecisive ones, a repetition of Kowloon West’s defeat is not impossible.

In the movie NO, what did the opposition use for the final version of their advertisement? It was song and dance modelled on commodity advertisement. There was no catastrophe in the ad, the imagery and music grab your attention immediately. The message of the advertisement is simple and direct: to vote, and vote NO; without a dictatorship there will be better days ahead. Only by grabbing the masses’ attention can you appeal to them. Do you know what the electorate of Kowloon West remembers most? “Vincent Cheng? He’s the brother in law of Myolie Wu.”

(P.S. Perhaps I’m being too clever too late with the full benefit of hindsight. Yet I’m not satisfied with being clever after the facts, nor am I here to boo and challenge. Beyond writing this article, I have strived to find my elders and friends to vote. With circumstances like these, I promised myself I will help out with canvassing in person in the upcoming election, let this be my proof.)